Alcopop Tax Act (Germany)

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Basic data
Title: Law on the levying of a special tax on alcoholic sweet drinks (alcopops) to protect young people
Short title: Alcopop Tax Act
Abbreviation: AlkopopStG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Tax law
References : 612-31
Issued on: July 23, 2004
( Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1857 )
Entry into force on: July 1, 2004
Last change by: Art. 7 G of March 10, 2017
( Federal Law Gazette I pp. 420, 421 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2018
(Art. 17 G of March 10, 2017)
GESTA : D062
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The law young establishing a special tax on alcoholic sweet drinks (alcopops) to protect people , just alcopops Expensive Act , abbreviated AlkopopStG governs since July 1, 2004 in addition to the tax on spirits , beer , sparkling wine and alcoholic intermediate products , the excise duty on so-called. Alcopops .

The law was part of a legislative initiative by the Federal Ministry of Health to improve the protection of young people from the dangers of alcohol consumption with the aim of "making alcopops so expensive that they are no longer bought by young people".

This steering purpose is controversial. From 2004 onwards, there was a continuous decline in the consumption of alcopops in all age groups. For the 12 to 17 year olds, however, the Federal Center for Health Education calculated an average amount of alcohol of 50.4 grams of pure alcohol per week for 2007. Starting from 44.2 grams in 2004 and 34.1 grams in 2005, this is a significant increase. No alcohol tax was introduced in Austria. Nevertheless, from the sales peak in 2003 to 2005 there was a drop in sales of almost 2/3 (61%), which speaks in favor of the consumption of alcopops as a short-lived fad independent of measures.

Taxed drinks

The law introduces a special tax on certain mixed drinks containing alcohol (so-called alcopops) ( Section 1 (1)), which is a good four times as high as the otherwise usual alcohol tax . Most mixed drinks made from alcohol are recorded with non-alcoholic or low- alcohol drinks that are sold fully bottled and have an alcohol content of more than 1.2% vol but less than 10% vol ( Section 1 (2)). The assessment basis for the alcohol tax is - as with the spirits tax - the amount of alcohol contained in the product ( Section 2 ).

Situation in Germany

Collection and calculation of taxes

The alcopops Expensive is a federal tax that the excise duty attributed to and from the Federal Customs Administration is managed.

The tax is based on the amount of alcohol contained in the alcohol ( § 2 sentence 1). For one hectolitre of pure alcohol, measured at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, it amounts to 5,550 euros ( § 2 sentence 2). This corresponds to a bottle size of 0.275 liters and an alcohol content of 5.5% vol. about 0.84 euros. According to this tariff, manufacturers must pay the tax.

Use of tax money

The additional net revenue from the tax is to be made available to the Federal Center for Health Education to finance addiction prevention . In the course of the introduction of the law, the Youth Protection Act was extended to the effect that alcopops must be provided with a notice that it is forbidden to sell to young people .

Tax revenue from the alcopop tax
year Million €
Development of the alcopop tax since 2004

Alcopop tax in other countries

European Union

The alcopop tax is a non-harmonized consumption tax and is therefore only levied in those Member States that have adopted a corresponding national regulation. Four countries have introduced a specific tax rate for alcopops since 2004.

In France , all alcopops have been subject to a special levy since the end of the 1990s, which increased from EUR 5,550 to EUR 11,100 per hectolitre of pure alcohol on January 1, 2005 (= around EUR 1.68 per 0.275-liter bottle with 5.5 percent alcohol by volume ) has been raised. At the same time as the increase in the special levy, which is fully paid to the French health insurance, the definition of alcopops has been clarified. The reason for this change was the steadily increasing consumption of alcopops by young people due to intensive marketing of alcopops aimed at young people.

On June 1, 2005, Denmark introduced a tax on all alcopops amounting to the equivalent of 52 cents per 0.275 liter bottle with 5.5 percent alcohol by volume.

In Sweden , a government-appointed commission is currently working on the issue of a special tax on alcopops.


The special tax on alcopops that has been levied in Switzerland since February 2004 is around EUR 7,532 per hectolitre of pure alcohol, four times the tax rate on spirits (tax rate per 0.275 liter bottle with 5.5 percent alcohol content around EUR 1.14) and applies for mixed drinks with an alcohol content of less than 15 percent by volume and a sugar content of at least 50 g per liter. The alcopops subject to the alcopop tax have largely disappeared from the store shelves, but have been replaced by the production of so-called gärpops.


  • Alexander Pfab: The taxation of alcopops. DStZ 2006, p. 249
  • Stefan Schmidt, Michael Theis: The new special tax on alcopops. Journal for Customs and Excise Taxes ZfZ 2004, p. 329

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Draft of a law to improve the protection of young people from the dangers of alcohol and tobacco consumption BT-Drs. 15/2587 of March 3, 2004
  2. Damian Fichte: Problematic Legitimation of Tobacco and Alcohol Taxes Wirtschaftsdienst 2014, pp. 62–68
  3. Alcohol, Taxes and Consumption of Young People Website of the Swiss Association of Spirits Manufacturers and Sellers SPIRITSUISSE, accessed on January 19, 2019
  4. Michael Adams, Tobias Effertz: Higher taxes on alcohol! Ifo Schnelldienst 19/2009, pp. 14–29
  5. ^ Walter Farke: Effects of the Alcopop Tax Act in Germany pp. 22, 24
  6. Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Addiction Research (LBISucht): Austria- wide representative survey on substance use. Survey 2004. Report Vienna 2005, pp. 29/30
  7. a b Federal Ministry of Finance: Cash tax revenue by tax type in the calendar years 2002 - 2005. April 18, 2008, accessed on March 6, 2015 .
  8. a b c d Federal Ministry of Finance: Treasury tax revenue by tax type in the calendar years 2006 - 2009. May 24, 2012, accessed on March 6, 2015 .
  9. a b c d e Federal Ministry of Finance: Treasury tax revenue by tax type in the 2010-2014 calendar years . Accessed on January 20, 2016 .
  10. a b Tax revenue (excluding pure municipal taxes). (PDF; 89 kB) Federal Ministry of Finance, August 18, 2017, accessed on October 3, 2019 .
  11. a b Tax revenue (excluding pure municipal taxes). (PDF; 87 kB) Federal Ministry of Finance, January 23, 2019, accessed on October 3, 2019 .
  12. Peter Anderson, Ben Baumberg: Alcohol in Europe. A Public Health Perspective A report for the European Commission. Summary. Institute for Alcohol Studies 2006, pp. 11/12
  13. ^ Claudia Ehrenstein: Lawsuit against alcopop tax Die Welt , April 28, 2004
  14. Ruedi Niederer, Kati Korn, Daniela Lussmann, Miriam Kölliker: Market study and survey of young adults on the consumption of alcoholic mixed drinks (alcopops) . University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, February 2008
  15. Maurice Thiriet: This is how the alcopops manufacturers trick the law from Basler Zeitung , July 30, 2011